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Why Does Nancy Sinatra Want Dolly Parton to Get the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

Nancy has been a Dolly fan for some time.

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The White House announced the winners of the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 7, but Nancy Sinatra has one more nomination: Dolly Parton. In a viral tweet on Saturday, the 82-year-old (best known as the eldest daughter of Frank Sinatra and singer of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”) called on President Biden to add Parton to the list.

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“Dear President Biden, @POTUS Many of us out here on Twitter would like to nominate Dolly Parton for the Medal of Freedom. Nobody is more deserving of this [sic] great honor,” she wrote.

Fans quickly pointed out that it’s a great idea for next year, but Parton likely wouldn’t accept. She was offered the award twice by President Trump and turned it down both times — once because her husband was ill, and again because she didn’t want to travel at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to receive it.

I don’t work for those awards,” she told TODAY. “It’d be nice but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.”

Nancy Sinatra’s Admiration for Dolly Parton

It’s interesting that Sinatra still made the public request. Perhaps it was her way of honoring Parton for all of her philanthropic efforts. Indeed, Sinatra didn’t tag Parton’s main Twitter account; she tagged Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library account. The Imagination Library, founded by Parton in 1995, is an international book gifting program that mails books to all registered children, from birth to age 5.

And that’s just one of Parton’s many charitable deeds. In 1990, she created the Buddy Program to reduce the number of high school dropouts in Sevier County, Tennessee (where Dolly grew up). By giving $500 to every student in the seventh and eighth grades who graduated high school, her program lowered the dropout rate from 35 to 6 percent. In 2000, Parton gave back to her community even more by creating the Dolly Parton Scholarship. Each year, five high school seniors receive the $15,000 scholarship to pursue a college education.

Over the years Parton has created additional scholarships and funds to help people in need, including the My People Fund in 2016, which gave money to families affected by the Great Smoky Mountain Wildfires. In 2017, she donated $1 million to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. And who could forget her efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic? In April 2020, she donated $1 million to COVID-19 research at Vanderbilt University to help create the Moderna vaccine.

So, even though Parton would likely turn down the Medal of Freedom once more, it’s no wonder that Sinatra wanted to recognize her in her own way. Sinatra’s been a fan of Parton for some time now; In 1972, she covered “Down from Dover” with country musician Lee Hazlewood, and said in an interview, “It’s one of Dolly’s best songs … It moved me to tears.”

We can’t help but agree with Sinatra. If Parton won’t accept the award, we’ll have to find other ways to celebrate the singer and her philanthropic work. Thank you, Dolly!

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